March 16, 2011

SORTA, union approve labor agreement

Earlier this week, the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 627 membership voted to approve a three-year labor contract with the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority's (SORTA) Metro, effective through Jan. 31, 2014. The vote was 409 to 49. The current contract expired at midnight on Jan. 31, 2011.

The new contract also must receive approval from the SORTA board of trustees, which will meet on Friday.

Approximately 676 Metro bus drivers, mechanics and operations support employees are covered by this new contract, which establishes wages, benefits and work rules.

Balancing costs with employees' needs was the key to forging this mutually beneficial contract, according to Metro CEO/GM Terry Garcia Crews. "Both union and management have struggled with how to give our employees a fair, competitive package while remaining fiscally responsible in these lean budget times. This contract meets the needs of employees and the taxpayers who fund our service and can be accommodated within our 2011 budget," she said.

Metro is a non-profit, tax-funded public service of the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority, providing about 17 million rides per year in the Greater Cincinnati area.

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